An Exorcism of Evil Spirits? (Sunday Song Series)

Once-upon-a-time, Prohibition had been the political / theological crusade to “cure” Americans of their drinking problem… an attempted “dry-out” campaign, which [1] had predated (by multiple decades) the eventual, 1920 thru 1933, 18th U.S. Constitutional Amendment and [2] preceded (by nearly one century) this week’s blog topic.

In a sense, week #33 of our Sunday Song Series “re-ushers in” Prohibition and affords us a listen to the Wm. Jerome and Jack Mahoney composed / Edward Meeker performed…

Every Day Will Be Sunday When the Town Goes Dry

A brief rundown of the Prohibition pros and cons…

Eventually, this legislation was credited for reducing a slew of societal and literal ills… e.g., domestic abuse (and other moral / financial bankruptcy), workplace absenteeism / loss of productivity, cirrhosis of the liver, alcoholic psychosis, etc.

However, Organized Labor leader, Samuel Gompers, did astutely observe / lament that unlike most previous, federal level legislation, this time individual rights were restricted rather than expanded.

BTW… time permitting… also give a listen to this alcohol-related, British 1568 folk song… John Barleycorn… traditional arrangement and performance by Willow’s Drum…

While I’d like to believe that the 21st Amendment’s repeal of Prohibition had been to purge Democracy of Theocracy… the un- Constitutional mash-up of church and state… it is far more likely the primary motivation had been… what else… Capitalism. After all, Uncle Sam’s taxation of liquor had been… and still is… enriching.

If you’ve found this Sunday Song Series to have been musically / historically enriching, why not make a pilgrimage back to this site each Sunday?

 

 

 

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(Ab)using the Bible to Defend Child Abuse?

 

It’s Father’s Day in America. Let’s pause to consider the needless drama playing out along the U.S. / Mexico border. As you read this, stone-hearted, “just following orders” U.S. Border Patrol agents are swooping down like vultures to wrest away traumatized, wailing kids from the loving, embracing arms of their heartbroken emigre dads… and moms, too.

Try to get a sense of this parental anguish, sorrow and horror… try to envision the torrents of shed parent/child tears.

The very thought of these government agents inflicting, incalculable emotional distress and psychological damage makes national security issues seem inconsequential. One starts to wonder if such a barbarically run nation is even worthy of survival?

Fortunately, the Party of Trump does not represent the views and values of real Americans… ergo… let’s just strike out that above sentence and move on.

Every decent human being (regardless of political stripe) should be capable of equating these Trumpian tactics to child abuse / crimes against humanity.

However, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions does not seem to possess even one shred of decency. Hey Jeff, how much did you get paid for your soul? In his role of the sycophantic, unprincipled underling to “Sluggo” Trump, he has been pleased as punch to be reading out the riot act from his boss’ “how to” instruction (destruction) manual… hammering in the “prez’s” zero tolerance policy. And lost in the scuffle and shuffle… long sigh… is the goodly sum of honorable detainees, whose ONLY “crime” is illegal entry into America.

We must not forget that many of these emigres are asylum seekers fleeing their homeland’s spiritual and economic deficits… merely attempting to claim the basic human rights of dignity and liberty. Once upon a time America welcomed them… why not now?

Alas, the soulless, heartless and headless Trumpian monstrosities are training their political crosshairs upon society’s most vulnerable… our world’s children.

To be totally fair here,Trump did weigh in thusly…

“I hate the children being taken away.”

As you should mister T! Might there be some hope for him… after all? Does he not realize that it’d not take much effort to right the wrong. Let’s e.g. that…

Did it ever occur to the “prez” that it is well within his power and purview to fire off one of his Executive Orders? In the mere seconds it’d take him to scribble out 4 words, “LEAVE EMIGRE FAMILIES INTACT” and then sign on the dotted line, he could put an end to this needless child abuse.

But, let’s not hold our collective breath. Both he and most of his “yes-man” underlings appear to be doubling down on (gleefully? sadistically?) inflicting this emotional torture. This past week, we even heard Sessions offering up his indefensible defense of his indefensible boss.

Further blurring the Constitution’s separation of church and state, he rattled off scripture… thusly…

“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order. Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful.”

Folks, one need not be a Bible thumper to find Jeff Sessions’ use / abuse of scripture to justify child abuse… to say the least… offensive.

Considering the rightwing domination of all three branches of government, America, indeed, is in deep trouble. We see how spineless, valueless lawmakers and judges (who are supposed to thwart the machinations of an autocratic “prez”) have shirked their sworn duty. Upon factoring in how we’re also besieged by propagandists over at FAUX/FOX news, Breitbart, et al, and how there are also far too many lapdog “journalists” this can only serve to enable… not enfeeble… the run amok party of Trump.

Ergo, it’s highly unlikely that any culpable parties will ever be accused (let alone be convicted) of such crimes against humanity. NOPE, few… if any of them… are likely to ever trade in their Teflon™ business suits / robes for prison orange fatigues. One can only hope that come Judgment Day… if such a thing even exists… that the guilty will first get outfitted with their horns and pointy tails and next spend eternity in HELL!

For there is… indeed… a special place in Hell for all child abusers / all who commit crimes against humanity.

Beyond that… one has to wonder if the “prez” also buys into Romans 13? Oh… say… would he “obey the laws of the government” were Special Counsel Robert Mueller to subpoena him for a little Q & A? And, if serious offenses were to then surface, would the “prez” ever accept a Congressionally meted out punishment… i.e., impeachment / removal from office?

Would DJT go quietly or would law enforcers need to boot him out?

Might then the US Border Patrol agents… repurposed and reassigned to DC… come in handy? Most assuredly, they do know how to show someone the door.

 

 

All Creatures Large and Small

Admittedly, I had briefly considered titling this posting: “A Cute Cuddly Puppy & Kitty”. But the actual title you’ve just read is a bit more honest… for, on this new day, the “creatures” I’m talking about are none other than our world’s religious sects. These “creatures” can and oft do exert forces upon our society, which are both too large and too small.

Terrorist cells and Theocratic societies draw their energy from too large religious ideology. Blue and white collar crimes can trace their roots to too small religious influences. Either way… humanity loses.

Clearly, the polarizing, extremes of religion are not working towards the betterment of our global society. So might the solution to dealing with our world’s ills be found in a moderate, middle ground faith?

While I’d never be so arrogant as to claim I have all the answers and MOST ASSUREDLY I am NOT on a mission to ram my own religious beliefs down anyone’s throat… here’s what my CommonSenseFaith is all about.

1. I do believe in God and cannot help but base such a conviction upon some of my own life experiences. I’ve shared two of those special moments in my posts: Going Home… Going Home… and A Sliver of Sunlight. I believe, if folks stop to really think about it, some might realize they, too, have had similar “oh wow” moments in their own lives.

2. I fully accept that God may not be a wizened, old man with a long, flowing white beard… that He could even be a She OR… in lieu of that… simply be the elegant and unifying universal laws of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

3. I do not believe in organized religion and haven’t been a regular churchgoer since I was a preteen. That’s because I feel living my religion in my day-to-day life is far more meaningful than living the lie of “Only on Sunday” “morality”. Now, this is not to say that I’ve not had lapses in my own good behavior. But key here is to learn from our transgressions and then self-correct.

4. I also believe that agnostics can be and oft are paragons of virtue 99% of the time. Why not 100%? That’s because nobody is perfect.

5. I feel living the Golden Rule provides us all the structure we need… i.e., the perfect, rock-solid foundation to build a non-violent, loving, flourishing society upon.

6. I may even be like you… you, who feel that want-to-puke-revulsion every time we see fraudulent, parasitic, gold-plated, stain-glassed televangelists “fleecing” their flocks. This breed of “religion” likely ranks right up there with the pumped up on steroids, bulked up, too large sects I spoke of above.

7. While I do insist that each and every one of America’s elected leaders be a humane, humble (wo)man in possession of a moral compass, I also concur with the U.S. Constitution that religious services ONLY belong in our Houses of Worship… that they MUST NEVER be convened in the White House Oval Office, on the U.S. House and Senate floor and, MOST ASSUREDLY NOT with the U.S. Supreme Court bench serving as a rickety, makeshift altar. True… the church government mash-up a.k.a. Theocracy may work out fine in Iran… but that’s not what America is all about.

Since too large and too small religious sects are failing… I believe my seven tiered, CommonSenseFaith philosophy sounds compelling. Hell, this could even work without bringing a Supreme Being into the mix. Might such an moderate approach pave the path towards a better world? Let me know what you think.